St. Mary’s College could well push for their sixth victory of the series in their 34th Kegalle’s “Battle of the Golds” against Kegalu Vidyalaya which began at the Public grounds, Kegalle yesterday. The match will be resumed today at 9.30 am.
After dismissing their opponents for a paltry 98, the Marians had done well to reach 173 for 7 by the close on a day when a very slow over rate was witnessed. A total of only 81 overs were sent down during the day. Another big match played at Pallekele yesterday saw 99 overs being sent down. A difference of 18 overs is a big gap and this is certainly something for the two umpires to have a closer look at and compel the players to get on with the game without resorting to time wasting tactics.
Kegalu Vidyalaya won the toss and decided to bat first, a decision which later turned out to be disastrous. They were skittled out for 98 in just 31.1 overs. This is one of the lowest scores in the series.
Kegalu Vidyalaya openers put on 23 runs but wickets started falling at regular intervals as there was no substantial contribution by any of the batsmen, the top scorer being Bimshendra Ranaweera who made 20. Their star batsmen Samadhi Dassanayake, Vimantha Ratnayake, Tharaka Somatillake and Shan Chathuranga all failed as the total slumped from 74 for 4 to 98 all out, losing their last six wickets for 24 runs.
Left arm spinner Dhanushka Sandaruwan was the main wrecker taking 6 for 26 in a sustained spell of bowling and this brought his tally for the season to 62 wickets. Off spinner Eraj Jayamanne took 2 for 21. But the most disappointed bowler of the day was left arm spinner Chamika Karunaratne who needed four more wickets to become the first Marian to reach 100 wickets in a season. Though he went flat out, he could collect only 1 for 35 and was made to wait for another day to achieve this feat.
The Marians in their turn at the wickets meant business and their openers Nuraj Ratnayake and Mohammed Malik flayed the bowling to put on 60 runs before they were separated. Mohammed Malik in particular displayed aggressiveness in making 45 which had 10 fours and faced only 30 balls. Mahesh Kumara (30) and Dhanushka Sandaruwan (26) too batted well in their effort to score quick runs.
Off spinner Tharaka Somatillake bowled well to capture 4 for 51. The Marians could well go for the kill when play resumes this morning by going for quick runs as they have nothing to lose at this stage, and with a substantial lead they could put the pressure once again on their opponents which could lead them towards their sixth win in the series.
Kegalu Vidyala 98 all out in 31.1 overs (Bimshendra Ranaweera 20, Lahiru Perera 11, Tharindu Somaratne 11, Eraj Jayamanne 2 for 21, Dhanushka Sandaruwan 6 for 26, Chamika Karunaratne 1 for 36)
St. Mary’s College 173 for 7 wickets in 50 overs (Mahes Kumara 28, Mohammed Malik 45, Bhanuka Manelanga 18, Dhanushka Sandaruwan 18, Nuraj Ratnayake 22, Tharaka Somatillake 4 for 51, Chinthana Bandara 1 for 20, Chathuranga Prematillake 1 for 10, Bimshendra Ranaweera 1 for 48)
-By U. J. Jezeem